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This TV Show Is About.
Release DateFebruary 8, 2015
Filming LocationsNew Mexico, United States of America
Better Call Saul is an American legal crime drama television series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould for AMC. Part of the Breaking Bad franchise, it is a spin-off from Gilligan's previous series, Breaking Bad (2008–2013), to which it serves primarily as a prequel, though some portions take place during and after the events of Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul premiered on AMC on February 8, 2015, and ended on August 15, 2022, with a total of 63 episodes over six seasons.
Set primarily in the early to mid 2000s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, several years before Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul examines the moral declines of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), an earnest lawyer and former con artist who becomes the egocentric criminal-defense attorney Saul Goodman, and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), a former corrupt police officer who becomes a fixer and enforcer for drug traffickers. Other main characters include Jimmy's romantic interest and colleague Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), his brother and rival Chuck McGill (Michael McKean), Chuck's law partner Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), the drug dealer Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), the drug lord Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and the cartel enforcer Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). In addition to the primary storyline, Better Call Saul includes black-and-white flashforwards set in 2010, after the events of Breaking Bad, which explore the consequences of Saul's eventual partnership with the drug lord Walter White (Bryan Cranston).
Gilligan, who created and developed Breaking Bad, and Gould, who wrote the Breaking Bad episode "Better Call Saul", began considering a Saul Goodman spin-off in 2009. Because Saul's role in Breaking Bad had expanded beyond the writing staff's plans, Gilligan felt he could be explored further. He and Gould considered making a half-hour legal comedy featuring Saul and his various clients, but settled on an hour-long tragedy showing how he develops into the character seen in Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul's development began during the production of Breaking Bad's final season in 2013, with Gilligan and Gould serving as co-showrunners and numerous production staff returning. Odenkirk, Banks, and Esposito reprise their roles from Breaking Bad, as do many others in guest appearances. Gilligan left Better Call Saul early in the third season—making Gould the sole showrunner for the remainder of its run—though he returned to help write the final season.
Better Call Saul received critical acclaim, with praise for its acting, characters, writing, direction, and cinematography. Many reviewers considered it a worthy successor to Breaking Bad—some deeming it superior to its predecessor—and one of the greatest television series of all time. It has garnered many awards and nominations, including two Peabody Awards, 53 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards, 19 Writers Guild of America Awards, 20 Critics' Choice Television Awards, nine Screen Actors Guild Awards, and six Golden Globe Awards nominations. At the time of its airing, the series premiere held the record for the highest-rated scripted series premiere in basic cable history.